Vladimir Nápravník was the son of Eduard Nápravník, a Czech conductor and composer, who settled in Russia and served as chief conductor of the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre from 1869 until his death in 1916. He led the world premieres of many important 19th century Russian operas, including Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden, and Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades. Vladimir Nápravník acquired the present lot at or soon after the Mir iskusstva exhibition in March 1915, as he is recorded as loaning it in the catalogue of the Dobychina Art Bureau exhibition held several months later.
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